November 2, 2020 — Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada
First Nations individuals and organizations are leading the efforts to ensure their communities have access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water. The hard work and dedication of these people is vital in achieving the goal of safe and clean drinking water in First Nations communities.
Today, Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated Éric Sioui, this year’s recipient of the National First Nations Water Leadership Award. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) created the annual National First Nations Water Leadership Award in March 2018 to recognize First Nations individuals or organizations that have demonstrated leadership and outstanding dedication to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in First Nations communities.
Mr. Sioui is a Huron-Wendat chemical engineering technician and a water treatment systems technician from Wendake, Quebec. He is being recognized for his leadership and for sharing his expertise with other First Nations water operators across the province of Quebec through the Circuit Rider Training Program. The Circuit Rider Training Program consists of a team of qualified experts who travel to First Nations communities to train the people responsible for operating, monitoring and maintaining drinking water and wastewater systems. As a Circuit Rider, Sioui also assists other First Nations operators in obtaining and maintaining their certification, and provides advice to Chiefs and Councils. Effective support for water operators through the Circuit Rider Training Program has helped Quebec First Nations prevent drinking water advisories and address them quickly when they are issued. As such, there are currently no long-term water drinking advisories in the province.
Some of his contributions to water leadership also include the development of a web page to assist water operators through the Circuit Rider Training Program, training courses, and the creation of a centralized equipment loan program for materials, including an inspection camera, a leak detector and other water system-related equipment.